WHAT ARE THE RE­QUIRE­MENTS FOR BE­COM­ING AN AS­TRO­NAUT?

Trek Magazine - - Space Race -

Who can ap­ply? Per­sons re­sid­ing in Canada and Cana­dian cit­i­zens re­sid­ing abroad can ap­ply. Pref­er­ence will be given to Cana­dian cit­i­zens.

In which lan­guage/s do they need to be pro­fi­cient? Ei­ther French or English. Pro­fi­ciency in both of­fi­cial lan­guages of Canada is an as­set but not a re­quire­ment. How­ever, Cana­dian Space Agency as­tro­nauts are based at NASA in Hous­ton, Texas, where the work­ing lan­guage is English. More­over, the two of­fi­cial lan­guages aboard the In­ter­na­tional Space Sta­tion are English and Rus­sian.

Which univer­sity de­gree do they need? Can­di­dates must have a bach­e­lor’s de­gree from a rec­og­nized univer­sity in en­gi­neer­ing or science (eg: physics, chem­istry, bi­ol­ogy, ge­ol­ogy, math­e­mat­ics, com­puter science) or a doc­tor­ate in medicine or den­tistry.

How many years of pro­fes­sional ex­pe­ri­ence should they have? Can­di­dates must have at least three years of rel­e­vant pro­fes­sional ex­pe­ri­ence OR be li­cenced to prac­tise medicine in Canada. A mas­ter’s de­gree is equiv­a­lent to one year of pro­fes­sional ex­pe­ri­ence, and a doc­tor­ate is equiv­a­lent to three years of pro­fes­sional ex­pe­ri­ence.

Which qual­i­ties and skills are re­quired? Mo­ti­va­tion, re­source­ful­ness and team­work are all im­por­tant qual­i­ties re­quired to be part of the CSA’s as­tro­naut corps. Judg­ment, in­tegrity, rea­son­ing, pub­lic speak­ing and the abil­ity to syn­the­size and com­mu­ni­cate us­ing plain lan­guage are also nec­es­sary.

Is there a re­quired height? The Soyuz cap­sule used to go to the In­ter­na­tional Space Sta­tion is lim­ited in size. To be safe in­side the cap­sule, the as­tro­naut must mea­sure be­tween 149.5 cm and 190.5 cm (4’9” and 6’2.5”). This might change in the fu­ture.

Is there a re­quired weight? Again, the Soyuz cap­sule used to go to the In­ter­na­tional Space Sta­tion is lim­ited in size, so the as­tro­naut must weigh be­tween 50 kg and 95 kg (110 lb. and 209 lb.) to be safe in­side the cap­sule. This might change in the fu­ture.

What about visual acu­ity? To be con­sid­ered, ap­pli­cants must meet very strin­gent med­i­cal re­quire­ments and be in ex­cel­lent health. Ap­pli­cants must score 20/20 (6/6) or bet­ter in each eye, with or with­out cor­rec­tion. Ap­pli­cants who have un­der­gone re­frac­tive laser surgery (PRK or LASIK) are el­i­gi­ble, but the Cana­dian Space Agency does not rec­om­mend that ap­pli­cants un­dergo re­frac­tive laser surgery for the sole pur­pose of ap­ply­ing for em­ploy­ment as an as­tro­naut. Is there an age re­quire­ment? There is no of­fi­cial age re­quire­ment. The ap­pli­cants cho­sen in 2009 by the Cana­dian Space Agency were 33 and 39 years old when they were se­lected. The ap­pli­cants cho­sen by NASA in 2013 were be­tween ages 26 and 46. How many as­tro­nauts will be se­lected dur­ing the Cana­dian Space Agency’s 2016–2017 re­cruit­ment cam­paign? Two in­di­vid­u­als will be se­lected as new mem­bers of the Cana­dian as­tro­naut corps in the 2016–2017 re­cruit­ment cam­paign. The CSA is re­cruit­ing ex­cep­tional peo­ple with ex­cel­lent health; a univer­sity ed­u­ca­tion in science, en­gi­neer­ing or medicine; and ex­ten­sive knowl­edge and ex­pe­ri­ence.

Launch of the Space Shut­tle Dis­cov­ery on Mis­sion STS-85 at 10:41 a.m. EDT on Au­gust 7, 1997, with Cana­dian Space Agency as­tro­naut Bjarni Tryg­gva­son aboard. (Credit: NASA)

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